Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Healthy Chicken Tetrazzini

  I have been so busy with the holidays lately that I haven't had time to blog! I also haven't had much time to cook. However, the other night I pulled out one of my favorites that I had in the freezer. It is Cooking Light's version of a healthier chicken tetrazzini. It is pretty easy to make and it is delicious! It makes two full casserole dishes, so when I make it I serve one and freeze one. It is so nice to enjoy a few weeks later when you get home late, but want a home-cooked meal.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.
  • Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  • Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
  • Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
  • To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Apricot Pork

  I am a huge pork fan! This recipe is very easy, and it calls for pork tenderloin. Therefore, it's pretty healthy. It has a nice sweet and salty taste to it, which I love. It has five ingredients too, so this is a quick one:) I hope you give it a try. I like to serve it over rice.

1 pork tenderloin trimmed and sliced into medallions (about 1 inch thick)
about half a jar of apricot preserves
about one cup of reduced sodium soy sauce
a few dashes of pepper and garlic powder

 Sprinkle the pork with pepper and garlic powder. Then, brown in a hot pan with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Flip the pork after about 3-4 minutes. Cook for another three to four minutes. Then, add apricot preserves and soy sauce. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about five minutes. Flip the pork a few times during this process. Turn off the heat and the sauce will thicken after about two minutes. Serve over rice. (Also great with broccoli!)

Delicious Salmon

  I love salmon! It might be my favorite fish. It is so good for you, and there are so many ways you can prepare it. We are lucky because we live very close to a great fresh seafood market. It makes it so easy to cook fish when it is so easily accessible. Hope you enjoy!

About 1 pound of salmon sliced into to filets
Spice rub- Combine 1teaspoon of all of the following: salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder
1 table spoon of olive oil

 Completely cover the top of fish in spice rub. Pat it pretty good. Then, heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the salmon, spiced side down. Brown for about three minutes. Then, flip the fish, and immediately put into the oven. Cook for about four minutes for medium rare, about six minutes for medium, and about eight or nine minutes for well-done. My husband makes fun of me because I like to eat mine with a little tartar sauce. It is also delicious with a squeeze of lemon. Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beef Bourguignon

   I know I just posted yesterday about red meat, but the filets from the night before came in a pack of four in my freezer so I had to hurry up and use them. This recipe is SO good! When I first got married this was my go-to "special" dinner I made for my husband. I still love it as much now as I did back then. In the past, I have also made this recipe with whole filets of beef. Last night, I cut them into pieces to speed up the cooking process. I know beef tenderloin filets can be expensive, so I think you could easily substitute another cut of meat if you want.

1- 1/2 pounds of sliced beef tenderloin (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 yellow onion
4 carrots
about 8-10 mushrooms sliced
2 cloves of garlics
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 1/2 cup of red wine
2 cups of beef stock
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil

  Season pieces of meat with half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Heat a large pan with the tablespoon of olive oil. Brown meat on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. Set meat aside. Add garlic and onions to the same pan, and cook for 30 seconds. De glaze the pan with the wine. Scrape the bits of the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes. Then, add the tomato paste, thyme, beef stock 1 teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of pepper. Let this cook for about five minutes. Then, add the carrots. Let this cook for about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate pan, brown the mushrooms for about 10 minutes in a tablespoon of butter. Add the mushroom to the sauce. Mix the remaining tablespoon of flour and butter together in a bowl, and then add it to the sauce to thicken. Put the meat back into the pan, and let it all cook together for about 3-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marinated and Grilled Filets topped with Blue Cheese

  I love this steak. It is pretty simple to make, and it is packed with a ton of flavor! Filets are a very lean cut of red meat, which means they are healthier, but they also are lacking in the flavor department. So, my solution marinate them. The marinade is easy, and I recommend letting them marinate over night if you can. If not, at least try and put them into the marinade in the morning before you grill them that night.

2-4 beef tenderloin filets
1/2 cup teryaki sauce
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
crumbles of blue cheese ( I used Roquefort this time.)

 Whisk the teryaki sauce, soy sauce and honey together in a bowl. Then, add the garlic and onion powder. Pour over filets in a zip lock bag and leave to marinate over night or at least 6 hours. Remove filets from bag and dry them off with a paper towel. Heat grill or grill pan on high heat. Cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Mine were pretty thick, and I like it medium rare. I f you like it more done, cook it longer. I also rotate the steak every three to four minutes to get the hash marks. For the last four or five minutes of cooking, I put the blue cheese crumbles on top to melt. Let the steaks rest for about 8nminutes before you cut into them and eat them. I promise these are full of flavor and delicious!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tasty Chili

 It finally has gotten chilly outside and I love it! What better food to cook when it is cold than chili? So, that is what we did this weekend. My "we" is my husband and me:) He loves to cook just as much as I do! Our chili turned out delicious, and I really think the key to good chili is cooking it for a very long time. I think we cooked ours for about four hours. We had to stir it every five minutes or so, and add more liquid as it reduced. Trust me, it is totally worth the effort!

1 pound of 95% lean ground beef
1 pound of 90% lean ground pork
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper (I took out the seeds.)
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can of water
1 1/2 beers of your choice
any brand chili seasoning packet (The one I used had a lot of cayenne pepper and chili powder)
salt and pepper to taste

  Brown both meats in about one tablespoon of olive oil with salt and pepper. Drain fat. In the same pot, saute onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic with about a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add the meat back in, and add the tomato sauce, water, and beer. Then, add the seasonings. Simmer, stirring every few minutes and scraping the bottom of the pan. After about and hour, or an hour and a half when the chili has gotten too thick, add one more can of water and half of a beer. Continue to cook on low for about another hour or hour and a half. Taste to make sure it is seasoned properly, and enjoy it with some melted cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cooking Lesson With My Sister: Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

   My sister and her fiance came over Saturday night for dinner. They come over for dinner a lot, and it is always so fun! However, this time my sister wanted to get in the kitchen and start learning how to cook. I think she must be getting excited for all the cookware she registered for. I think the night was a success. We had fun, and the boys thought our meal was delicious. It was an all out comfort food meal. Please enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Haley peeling potatoes!

Haley stirring the potatoes like an old pro:)
Old Fashioned Meatloaf

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (I like the seasoned kind)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Turn off the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the ground sirloin, onions, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with hands or a fork. Don't mash or the meat loaf will be dense. Shape the mixture into a  loaf on a sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1hour and 20 minutes. Sometimes I put a dish of water under the meatloaf pan in the oven so it won't crack.

Mashed Potatoes:

5 Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and cut into fourths)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of green onion
4 pieces of turkey bacon or regular bacon (cooked and crumbled)

  Put potatoes into a large pot of very salty cold water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes (until fork tender.) Drain, and return to pot. Use hand mixer to mash. Add pepper, and more salt to taste. Add cheese and keep mixing. Then, stir in the yogurt. Add the bacon crumbles and green onion. Put into a baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top. Bake just until cheese melts on top.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Braised Short Ribs and Cheesy Polenta

  We had some dear friends over last night for our monthly supper club. It was so much fun to all hang out! Lots of food was eaten, lots of catching up, playing with babies, and drinking good wine. Overall, I would say it was a success! Because of the cool weather and large group of people, I decided to make braised short ribs. Short ribs are pretty cheap, however they are a pretty tough piece of meat. That's why braising is so good for them. The longer you cook them, the more tender and delicious they get. This recipe is not my own. I got it from Anne Burrell. She has a show on the food network called Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I love her! This recipe is pretty time consuming. If you have a lazy Saturday or Sunday, I suggest making this. It is absolutely worth the wait:) Because we had eight people, I doubled the recipe.


  • 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • 2 bay leaves


Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste.

  When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

Soft Parmigiano Polenta:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 1 cup long cooking polenta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
In a medium size saucepan, bring the milk, water and bay leaf to a boil. Season generously with salt, almost to the point of over seasoning. How do you know that you are there? TASTE IT! When it has reached a boil, slowly whisk in the polenta in small sprinkles. Once all of the polenta has been incorporated, reduce heat to medium and immediately switch over to stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook the polenta for 30 to 40 minutes, adding water if the polenta becomes too thick to loosen it up.

When the polenta is thoroughly cooked, it should look creamy and not feel gritty on your tongue. Remove it from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano and mascarpone. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Healthy Quiche Lorraine

   My house smells so good right now! I just took this out of the oven! Dinner is gonna be good:)

   I love quiche, and I came across a Quiche Lorraine recipe I liked a few years ago. I altered it in a few ways to make it healthier. I think it is delicious! It makes a great dinner with a salad and sauteed mushrooms, or perhaps with some roasted asparagus. Then, you can heat some up for breakfast or lunch the next day. Give it a try, and I am sure you won't miss the unhealthier version a bit.

1 store bought pie crust
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk ( I used 2%. Don't use skim or the quiche won't thicken properly.)
1 teaspoon on salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 1/2 cups of spinach (uncooked)
6 pieces turkey bacon
1 red or yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon of flour

  Bake pie crust for 12 minutes at 450 degrees. Cover with foil if it gets too dark. Turn oven down to 325. In a medium pan, brown the bacon. Take out and put aside. Add onion to the pan with half a teaspoon of salt and a little pepper. Cook until translucent. Then, add garlic and spinach. Cook just until the spinach wilts. Turn off the heat, and crumble the bacon into the mix.

  In a bowl, mix the milk, eggs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Beat with a whisk. Add bacon, onion, and spinach mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the grated cheese and flour together. Add to the egg bowl. Give it a stir, and pour it into the pie crust. Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Marinated Flank Steak with Wild Rice Salad

  We had this last night and I love it! We love red meat over at our house, and this particular cut of meat isn't expensive so that is pretty nice. The marinade is really easy to make, and I usually like to let it marinade over night if I can. If not, I let it marinade for atleast four hours. We like to grill it, but if you don't have a grill you could use a grill pan or an iron skillet. The flavors are really good together!

  Now, we also had my new favorite side dish last night.  I am not typically a wild rice person, but recently I have discovered this salad, and I am now crazy for it! The ingredients I put in can be substituted with whatever you have around the house. This side dish is great because it can be served hot, at room tempertature, or cold. It also stays for about three or four days. I will be having some leftovers for lunch today:)

Flank Steak:
1- 1 1/2 lbs. of flank steak
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup teryaki sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch chopped green onion

  Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Pour over meat, and let it marinade over night. When you grill it, the cook time depends on the thickness, but usually it takes around 15-20 minutes. I rotate it every 4 minutes or so to get the grill marks. I rotate it from 10:00 position to 2:00 position, then I flip it and do the same thing on the other side. Let the meat rest about 8-10 minutes before you cut it. Make sure you cut it against the grains (the lines you can see.)

Wild Rice Salad:
1 Cup (uncooked rice) Follow cooking directions on the package.
1/4 cup slice almonds
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 package of mushrooms sliced
about 6 pieces of asparagus chopped into fourths
1/4 cup pistachios ( I used them last time, but didn't have anythis time)
1 sprig fresh thyme chopped
2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
5 splashes red wine vinegar
5 splashes Balsamic vingear
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.

   Saute the onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. After about 5 minutes, add the mushrooms, asparagus, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and almonds. Turn off the heart after about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over the cooked rice. Add the dressing a little bit at a time so you can decide how much you want. Enjoy it! You could also try adding carrots, celery, green onion, or walnuts. This one is a keeper.

Chive and Dill Yogurt Sauce

   I absolutely love this sauce! It is so easy, and it is really good for you too! I put it on baked potatoes, dip french fries in it, and put it on grilled vegetables. I also use it as a healthy dip with baked chips. It is delicious, and the main ingredient is Greek Yogurt which is great for you. It takes less than five minutes to make. We had it on Saturday night on top of baked  potatoes.

About 1 cup of Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons of dried or fresh dill chopped
2 tablespoons of chives
a few dashes of garlic powder
a few dashes of onion powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper

Mix all ingredients together and stir. Taste it. We all have different preferences so you might want to add more or less of one spice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lemon Garlic Pork

  This might be my favorite food that I make. It is so good, and it tastes like it would be really unhealthy, but it really isn't at all. I don't have a picture right now because I haven't made it in a while, but I am going to make it next week. Then, I will post a picture. I always serve it the same. I put it on top of a bed of arugula. I also always make couscous with it. Try it out. I promise it is a good one!

Lemon garlic marinated pork tenderloin trimmed and sliced into about five pieces. ( I cheat and buy either the Hormel one, or one from Central Market.)
olive oil
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of breadcrumbs ( I liked the seasoned kind.)
1 lemon
salt pepper
arugula (It is a must! The peppery lettuce wilts slightly when you put the pork on it. Pour the vinaigrette on top and it is delicious!)

  Pound each piece of pork until very thin, about 1/4 to 1/3 an inch. Next, combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese on a plate. Coat each piece of pork in the mixture until both sides are covered. Then, brown on medium-high in about 1tablespoon of olive oil. Cook it about 3 minutes on each side. You want to get a golden brown color. You might have to do this in batches. If so, add a little bit more oil with each batch. After the pork has cooked for three minutes on each side, put it on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes. While the pork is in the oven, squeeze one whole lemon into a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, slowly whisk in about 1/2 a cup of olive oil. When, you serve the pork, put it on a bed of arugula with the lemon vinaigrette drizzled on top. I love to put a drizzle on my couscous as well. Let me know what you think.

Mustard Herb Chicken with Vegetable Bolognese

   This dinner was truly delicious! I wish I could take credit for coming up with it, but I can't. I got it from Giada De Laurentis, and I altered it a bit. It was so good and pretty easy. The bolognese takes a little effort, but it is totally worth it. I served it with some cheesy polenta and asparagus. Yes, you will notice in the picture my husband and I like our asparagus practically burned!

Ingredients for chicken:
1 Whole Chicken patted dry
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
2 sprigs of rosemary chopped
2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 table spoon of pepper

Directions for chicken:
  Sprinkle the inside of the with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Mix the butter, herbs, mustard, and remaining salt and pepper together in a bowl. Rub all over the outside of the chicken. Split the skin with your fingers and rub more of the butter mixture on both chicken breasts. Tie legs together with some kitchen twine and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let the chicken cool and rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with vegetable bolognese on top.

Vegetable Bolognese Ingredients:
2 carrots
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of dry red wine
1 1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 package of mushrooms (I like cremini or baby bellas)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 sprigs of thyme chopped
1/2 cup of cream cheese or mascarpone cheese

  Roughly chop the carrots, pepper, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic and put it into Cuisinart or blender. Add about 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the sauce pan and heat to medium high. Add vegetable paste. Cook for about 7 minutes. Then add the thyme and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes. The add the wine and stir. Cook until the wine reduces by half, about 6 minutes or so. Then, add the stock and tomato paste. Cook for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Pour over chicken and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cornish Game Hens with Cornbread Stuffing

   I love this dish and it is really easy. Sometimes I get the craving for Thanksgiving year round, and this totally satisfies my craving! I am sure most cooks would say I should make the stuffing from scratch, but I don't. Someday I would love to try making it because I really am a stuffing junkie! Seriously, my grandmother always has to bring an extra pan of it for me on Thanksgiving. For now though, I just buy Pepperidge Farm or Stove Top. (Please don't judge!)

Ok, so here is what you need:

2 cornish game hens (the number will vary depending how many you are cooking for)
1 box of stuffing mix prepared
1 tablespoon of butter
1 onion

 Salt and pepper the inside of the hen. You will follow the directions for the stuffing. Once it is cooked, you will stuff it inside the cavity of the hen.  Melt the butter and brush it on the outside of the hen. Sprinkle the outside of the hen generously with salt and pepper. Cut up and onion it big chunks. Lay the hens on the onion in the roasting pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 55 minutes.

Sauteed Hericot Verts

   I think these haricots are my favorite vegetable I make. A haricot is just the French name for a string bean. I like these better than regular green beans because I think they have a better flavor, are skinnier, and they stay crunchier. So, to make these delicious bad boys here is what you need:

1 package of haricot verts
1 yellow onion (if I am just cooking for two, I use half a package of the green beans and half an onion.)
1 garlic clove minced (chopped finely)
black pepper
chicken bouillon granules or powder
white wine vinegar
1/2 lemon

   So, first thing I do is blanch the beans. This means that you cook them shortly in boiling water. So, I boil the water and add the green beans. Cook them for about three minutes. Then, drain them. Next, I let them hang out in ice water so they don't get overcooked. The reason for boiling them first is it locks in that really pretty bright green color.

After the blanching, I take the chopped onion and cooking over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I cook the onions until they are translucent, about eight minutes. Then, I add the garlic and green beans. Cook for about 30 seconds while adding pepper. Then, I add about five or six dashes of white wine vinegar and a few shakes of the chicken bouillon. (I like salt, so I probably add more. You can do less if you aren't really a salty person.) I use bouillon instead of plain kosher salt because the flavor is really good. I stir this and then add the juice of about 1/2 a lemon. Continue cooking for about three minutes and enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Mom's Chicken

This chicken is just so delicious. I got the recipe from my mom, and I know she just made it up one night, like she does so often:)She is such a good cook, and her food is just so comforting and reminds me so much of my childhood. This is really good and hearty. Perfect for a winter night with a glass of red wine. Yum! It is pretty healthy and is ready on the table in 30 minutes. I like to serve it over brown rice. You  could do any kind of rice, or you could try egg noddles or quinoa. Let me know what you think.

1 chicken breast per person. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow onion (you could use white or red too)
2 cloves of garlic chopped
handful of mushroom sliced
tomato paste
red wine (any kind you have around the house that would actually like to drink)
teryaki sauce
all purpose flour

   Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. You won't need much salt at all because of the teryaki sauce. I dust each chicken piece in the flour and shake all the excess off. I flour the chicken because I find that it makes the chicken stay really moist instead of drying it out which is so easy to let happen. You only need about a tablespoon of flour. Meanwhile, heat a pan with extra virgin olive oil. You want it to be medium-high, hot enough to hear a sizzle when you put it in the pan. Brown the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken when it is about 2/3 of the way cooked. Set it aside. Add about a tablespoon of fresh olive oil.Then, add onion slices to the oil. Cook the onions for about five minutes. Then, add garlic and peppers. Add some fresh pepper and stir. After about three minutes, add the mushrooms. Cook for about 1 or 2 minutes. Then, add about half a cup of red wine to the pan. Scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pan. (This is where the flavor is!) Then add about a cup of teryaki sauce and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Turn heat down to a simmer. Reduce sauce for about 5 minutes. The, put the chicken back in, and cook all together for about 5-7 minutes. Sauce will thicken as sits, so wait a couple minutes before serving.

    I never measure exactly when I cook so the wine, teryaki, and tomato paste measurements are estimations. Feel free to add more or less of one if you think it needs it.

Roasted Vegetables

I love vegetables! I don't think there is one that I don't like. However, my husband does not feel the same way. I must say he has come a long way since we first got married. The only vegetable he used to eat was salad. Now he has expanded his horizons to green beans, asparagus, spinach, zuccini and squash. He still says that he will never ever eat broccoli. We shall see:) Anywho, I am constantly looking for new ways to cook vegetables, and I always end up coming back to roasting. It is super easy, and any of you beginners can do this. All you need to do is get a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop your veggies and put them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and any seasoning of your choice. I love garlic powder and onion powder. Then, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and toss veggies until they are evenly coated. Bake for 30 minutes. I turn the veggies half way through to make sure they brown on both sides. Here are some of my favorite combinations:

red onion, butternut squash, zuccini, carrots, and asparagus

onion, cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil

onion, potatoes, any colors of bell peppers

To make it a little extra delicious you can grate a little fresh parmigian cheese on top just after you take them out of the oven.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quick and Delicious Dinner

 OK, I have recently become a stay-at-home mother, but, before that, I taught third grade for seven years. Wow! Still can't believe it was that long. Anyway, I can't tell you how many times I would get home late and exhausted. (I am sure many of you can relate!) However, I still wanted to try and be a "good little housewife" and make dinner for my husband, but lacked the energy do make anything that required me to use my brain.

Solution = Hoisin Chicken

You will not believe how easy this is! It doesn't require any measurements, and it has very few ingredients.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of Hoisin Sauce
garlic powder
onion powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put your chicken in between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them slightly with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. You don't need them to be too thin, just evened out. Put the chicken breasts in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. You won't need much salt because the hoisin sauce has a lot of salt in it. Pour the hoisin sauce over the chicken and spread evenly. I normally use about half a bottle for two chicken breasts. I like to have a little extra sauce. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Allow 5 minutes to rest before serving.

 I love serving this over brown rice with broccoli or spinach. Let me know what you think. My husband and I both love this, and you would never know it takes almost no effort to make.

Healthy Chicken Chili

   I love that it is finally starting to feel like fall. One of my favorite things to make in the fall and winter is chicken chili. It is so easy and delicious! It is so healthy too. My husband gets so excited for this, and he eats up the whole pot pretty fast. It is a hearty meal and a delicious snack. It will last in your fridge for about a week. It also freezes well. I also recommend varying this recipe to your liking. Try it tonight, and it will quickly become one of your seasonal favorites.

Chicken Chili:

3 roasted boneless skinless chicken breast halves shredded (You can also use a rotisserie chicken from  the grocery store.)
1 large yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 Serrano pepper
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
olive oil
salt pepper
chili powder
cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can white beans
1 light beer of your choice
1 white chicken chili packet ( McCormick's or any other brand found on spice aisle)

Saute onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the green and red bell peppers and cook on medium for about 3 minutes. Then, add the chopped garlic and Serrano pepper. Remove the seeds from the pepper before adding. Next, put in both cans of beans and diced tomatoes. Then, add the chicken broth and the beer. Bring to a simmer. Next, add the chicken and a few dashes of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Lastly, add the chicken chili packet. Lower the heat, and cook the chili uncovered for about 30 minutes. The longer it cooks and sits the better:) Enjoy!!